Farmers oppose 'bestiality bill' against sex acts with animals in New Hampshire

Supporters of the bill say it is 'unfortunately needed'

Jess Staufenberg
Wednesday 02 March 2016 12:16
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Farmers in the US east coast state are concerned they could be targeted by laws banning bestiality
Farmers in the US east coast state are concerned they could be targeted by laws banning bestiality

A law to ban bestiality has been opposed by US farmers on the grounds they could be unfairly arrested.

Farmers in New Hampshire have said a proposed law to ban the sexual abuse of animals in the state could see them unprotected should they need to touch or intervene with an animal for medical reasons.

Robert Johnson, a lobbyist for the New Hampshire Farm Bureau, said the new bill was not necessary.

"Just because the word 'bestiality' is not used in our statutes does not mean it's not covered," he said, according to the Concord Monitor.

Bestiality is still legal in Texas, Hawaii, Kentucky, Virginia, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Vermont, West Virginia, Montana, Wyoming and the District of Columbia - as well as New Hampshire - according to the Alabama Watchdog.

The law is being put forward by Katherine Rogers, a Democrat representative in Concord, who is looking to ban the sexual abuse of animals. Perpetrators could also be registered.

She said prosecutors needed the law as a "tool" to ensure the practice went punished.

"It's unfortunately something that's needed, and New Hampshire shouldn't be one of the few states that doesn't have it," said Ms Rogers.

Her words were echoed by Jeremy Hoffman, a Virginia police detective, who said farmers are not likely to be affected by the law.

"I don't believe that's in the spirit of the intent of the bill, and I can't foresee any reasonable prosecutor attempting to use this bill in that fashion," he told the Concord Monitor.

Yet the farming community at large in the east coast state mostly joined the commissioner of agriculture, Lorraine Merrill, in criticising the bipartisan bill.

Bestiality was first brought to the attention of the New Hampshire public when video clips were found of a man having sex with dogs in 2014.

He said he had been engaged in bestiality since the age of 13, was convicted of two felony counts of animal cruelty and sentenced to one year in jail, according to Sentinel Source.

Bestiality, defined as performing sex acts on an animal, is illegal in Norway, The Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark in Europe. In the UK, penetration between an animal and a human is prohibited under the 2003 Sexual Offences Act.

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